Ghostfinger, a trio of "classically-trained virtuoso smart-asses"(Nashville Scene), evoke the mythical South of Dan Penn, Dobie Gray, Isaac Hayes and Molly Hatchett. Their live shows are like a one-legged outlaw riding downhill on a bike with no brakes-maniacal and moving.
Ghostfinger are the new sound of Nashville. Their debut CD, These Colors Run, is available now on Set International Records.
The origins of Ghostfinger can be traced high into the mountains of Appalachia, in the cradle of country music near the Tennessee-Virginia border. It was there high in the hills, that singer-guitarist Richie Kirkpatrick began his search for "more headband in the monitor". Countless hours were spent traipsing through abandoned nuclear facilities and recording Dixie-fried prog-rock in his parents' basement.
When Richie came down from the mountains, to the basin of Murfreesboro, Tenn., he found the traveling companions he would need for such a daunting quest. Those two brave souls are keyboardist Matt Rowland and drummer Van "Man-Bull" Campbell.
Matt hails from Hope, Arks. home of the world's largest watermelon and the birthplace of President Bill Clinton. He learned the idiom of organ playing for a black Missionary Baptist church at the turn of the century in the middle of Tennessee. He is currently memorizing Franz Liszt's operatic transcriptions for piano and listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen.
Van Campbell is from a long line of Kentucky bourbon bootleggers, and you can hear it in his 100-proof drumming for Ghostfinger and Nashville's hard-blues heroes The Black Diamond Heavies. He plays as if possessed by the ghosts of Bonham and Moon, but has a Masters Degree in Mandarin Chinese. The man is a mystery of modern science.
Paul Niehaus, pedal-steel player for Lambchop and Calexico, stopped by and lent his high-lonesome sound to a few tracks on These Colors Run. You can also hear a gang of drunks chanting in the background, if you listen closely. Richie found them at a party.
Ghostfinger recorded These Colors Run, an album Richie describes as "campfire songs for after the apocalypse", in Nashville during the winter of 2005. Sneaking in late-night sessions with engineer Jesse Newport, Ghostfinger reveled in the sonorous splendor found at Alex the Great and the Toy Box.
These Colors Run was mastered by the world famous Georgetown Masters on Music Row. Johnny Cash, Crazy Horse, Ciba Mato and "hundreds of Gold, Platinum and Grammy-award winners" have used Georgetown, and you can hear their craftsmanship in the rich textures and full-spectrum sound of Ghostfinger's debut.
This fall and winter will see Ghostfinger traverse the better part of the continent in support These Colors Run (they probably won't hit Alaska and Saskatchewan, sorry) . February will see them return to the studio for their sophomore effort. When springtime beckons they will head for the abandoned nukes of East Tennessee to conduct experiments in the circular behavior of sound.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Aminal Eye
3. Hello Movies
6. Love My Head
7. Pretending To Die
8. Shine A Light